Affogato – Ice Cream With Coffee: Best Summer Recipe 2024

Affogato is a classic Italian dessert that marries two of life’s simple pleasures: ice cream and coffee. This indulgent treat is as simple to make as it is delightful to consume, making it a perfect pick-me-up or a sweet ending to a meal.

The process involves pouring a shot of hot, freshly brewed espresso over a scoop of smooth vanilla ice cream, resulting in a creamy, melty concoction that both soothes and energizes.

The name affogato, meaning “drowned” in Italian, perfectly encapsulates the essence of the dessert, as the ice cream is bathed in the warm liquid, creating a harmonious blend of hot and cold.

Key Takeaways

  • Affogato is an Italian dessert combining espresso and ice cream.
  • It can be easily customized with different flavors and toppings.
  • The dessert offers a balance of hot and cold sensations.

The Affogato: What It’s All About

The affogato is a cherished Italian delight, where simplicity and indulgence blend to create a unique dessert experience. Rooted in the heart of Italian cuisine, the term “affogato,” meaning drowned in Italian, ideally encapsulates the essence of the dish—a scoop of gelato “drowned” in a shot of hot espresso.

  • Origins: While the exact origin of the affogato is not well-documented, it undoubtedly began as a part of Italian culinary tradition. It’s easy to picture the affogato being born in the cozy cafes of Italy, where coffee is an integral element of daily life.
  • Italian Cuisine Staple: Traditionally, affogato features fior di latte—a plain, milk-flavored gelato. However, vanilla ice cream has become a popular substitute, offering a similar creamy texture and subtle flavor to complement the rich espresso.
  • Popularity: The affogato gained popularity as a simple yet sophisticated dessert that could be enjoyed at any time. Its beauty lies in the contrast between the hot and cold elements and the balance of bitter and sweet.

Selecting the Perfect Ingredients

 Ingredients for an affogato sonsiting of vanilla ice cream and an espresso shot carefully organized on a white plate
by Pinterest

To create an exquisite Affogato, it’s essential to focus on the quality and type of the two main components: espresso and ice cream. What you choose will significantly affect both the flavor and texture of this delightful dessert.

Choosing the Right Espresso

In an Affogato, espresso is the star that complements the sweetness of the ice cream. You’ll want a hot espresso that’s robust and aromatic. Here are steps to guide you in selecting espresso for your Affogato:

  1. Beans: Look for high-quality espresso beans with a medium to dark roast profile to attain the desired depth and a hint of natural sweetness. Good for you: We hand-picked the best coffee beans and grounds for top-notch espresso shots.
  2. Brewing method: If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still achieve a concentrated coffee using alternatives such as a Moka pot, French press, or AeroPress. If you don’t have the latter, another alternative to an espresso would be a double-brewed coffee.

Remember, the goal is a hot, concentrated coffee that can hold its own against the cold ice cream.

Finding the Best Ice Cream

The best companion to your espresso in an Affogato is a scoop of high-quality ice cream. Follow these guidelines to pick the ideal ice cream:

  • FlavorVanilla is the classic choice. Whether you select vanilla bean ice cream or vanilla gelato, ensure it has a rich and creamy texture with a real vanilla taste that won’t be overshadowed by the espresso.
  • Variations: For a twist, consider flavors like hazelnutchocolate, or pistachio to add complexity to your Affogato.

Choose a flavor that resonates with your taste while ensuring that it will harmonize beautifully with your selected espresso coffee. The richness of the ice cream should balance the intensity of the hot coffee, creating a delightful symphony of flavors in every spoonful.

Making the Affogato

 Affogato Ice Cream and Coffee in a small glass on a plate with a spoon
by Pinterest

You’re about to embrace a classic Italian dessert that’s as simple to make as it is delightful to enjoy. With just a few ingredients and some easy steps, you’ll be savoring the harmonious blend of hot espresso and cold gelato in no time.

1. Brewing the Coffee

To start, you’ll need a shot of espresso. If you have an espresso machine, use it to brew a strong shot. In the absence of an espresso machine, you can brew strong brewed coffee as a substitute. The goal is to have a rich and aromatic coffee base, so aim for a dark roast that will deliver a robust flavor and a good caffeine kick.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 shot of espresso (or alternatively, 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee)

2. Scooping the Gelato

While your coffee is brewing, take out your gelato – vanilla is traditional, but feel free to experiment with flavors like hazelnut or caramel. Scoop a generous portion into a serving glass or bowl that’s been chilled if possible. The cold temperature of the glass will help maintain the texture of the gelato a bit longer when the warm coffee is poured over.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1-2 scoops of gelato (vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, etc.)

3. Assembling the Dessert

Now for the magical part: Pour the hot espresso over the scooped gelato. Watch as the gelato begins to melt, creating a creamy, dreamy mixture. If you want to enhance the flavor, consider adding a tablespoon of liqueur such as amarettoKahlua, or rum. Sprinkle with toppings such as chocolate shavingschopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts), or even a pinch of sea salt to elevate the taste. Serve immediately with a spoon, and enjoy the interplay of hot and cold, creamy and strong, in each delightful spoonful.

TIP: For a twist, add a biscotti on the side for dipping, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce for extra decadence.

Customizing Your Affogato

 Affogato Ice Cream and Coffee in a glass with two biscuits
by Pinterest

Affogato, a delightful blend of ice cream and espresso, can be personalized to suit your taste buds with a variety of liqueurs, non-dairy ice creams, and toppings. This flexibility allows you to create a dessert as unique as you are.

Alcoholic Variations

Enhancing your affogato with liqueur adds a sophisticated twist. Incorporate a splash of Bailey’s for a creamy lift or a hint of nocino nut liqueur for a nutty depth. Always pour the liquor directly over the ice cream before adding the hot espresso. Remember, a little goes a long way; moderation is key to maintain the exquisite balance of flavors.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

You don’t have to miss out on this treat if you’re avoiding dairy. Opt for non-dairy ice cream alternatives, such as those made from almond, coconut, or soy milk, which are lower in saturated and trans fats. By choosing non-dairy, you also have the opportunity to explore different flavors while possibly reducing caloriescholesterol, and sodium in your dessert.

Unique Toppings and Flavors

Your choice of toppings can transform your affogato from simple to sublime. Here’s how:

  • Flavor: Classic vanilla is the norm, but feel free to experiment with chocolate gelato for a mocha twist or fruit-flavored sorbets for a refreshing contrast.
  • Topping Ideas: Sprinkle grated chocolate or crunchy biscotti pieces to add texture. A dusting of cocoa powder or a drizzle of caramel sauce can also accentuate the flavors.
  • Nutrition: Bear in mind, additional toppings will alter the proteinfiber, and carbohydrate content. Choose wisely to meet your dietary preferences.

Nutritional Information

When indulging in an Affogato, it’s good to know what nutritional content you’re enjoying. Since an Affogato primarily consists of ice cream and espresso, its nutritional profile depends on the specific ingredients used, such as the type of ice cream and any additional toppings or liqueurs.

Calories: A standard serving of Affogato can range between 170 to 250 calories. The variation depends on the ice cream’s richness and whether you add spirits like Amaretto or Nocino.


  • Saturated fat: A scoop of vanilla ice cream contains roughly 4-5 grams of saturated fat.
  • Unsaturated fat: Ice cream does contain some unsaturated fats, but the amount is minimal in comparison to saturated fats.
  • Trans fat: Usually, ice cream should have no trans fats, but always check the label to be sure.

Protein: There’s a modest contribution from the milk in the ice cream, providing about 2-3 grams per serving.

Carbohydrates: Typically, you’ll find 16-24 grams in a serving, largely from the sugars in the ice cream.

Cholesterol: Ice cream is a dairy product, so it contains cholesterol – expect around 29-30 mg per serving.

Sodium: A scoop of ice cream might contain between 30 to 50 mg of sodium.

Fiber: There’s virtually no fiber in an Affogato unless you choose to top it with nuts or chocolate shavings.

If you’re mindful of these nutrition facts, you can certainly fit an Affogato into your diet as an occasional treat. Enjoy your coffee and ice cream concoction!

Serving and Presentation Tips

 Affogato Ice Cream and Coffee in two tall cocktail glasses
by Pinterest

When you’re crafting an Affogato, presentation is key. You want to balance the rich flavors of sweet ice cream with the boldness of bitter coffee, ensuring every spoonful is both a visual and sensory delight.

Choosing the Right Glassware

Finding the perfect glass is a crucial step in serving an Affogato. A clear glass is the gold standard as it showcases the beautiful layers of your dessert. Whether you’re using a traditional affogato glass or any other clear serving glass, ensure it’s sturdy enough to handle the temperature contrast between the hot espresso and the cold ice cream. A double shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the classic Affogato, but if you’re feeling adventurous, granita or gelato are exciting alternatives. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose:

  • Traditional Affogato Glass: Ideal for showcasing the layers and maintaining the proper temperature.
  • Wine Glass: An elegant option that flares out at the top, perfect for adding garnishes.
  • Double-Walled Glass: Offers insulation to keep your coffee hot and your ice cream cold.

Garnishing for Visual Appeal

The right garnish can turn your Affogato from a simple dessert into a stunning treat. After you’ve carefully poured the coffee over your choice of sweet ice cream, consider adding a dusting of cocoa powder or some shaved chocolate for a beautiful contrast. If you’re feeling indulgent, a drizzle of chocolate syrup or a spoonful of dulce de leche could add an extra layer of sweetness. Here’s an easy format to follow:

  • Cocoa Powder/Shaved Chocolate:
    • Dust lightly for a classic look.
    • Add right before serving to maintain texture.
  • Dulce de Leche/Chocolate Syrup:
    • Drizzle in a spiral for a professional touch.
    • Serve immediately to enjoy the melty goodness.

💡Interested in other recipes?

Explore our blog post on how to make Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk.

FAQ – Affogato – Ice Cream With Coffee

What is affogato made of?

Affogato is a simple yet luxurious dessert made with just two primary ingredients: a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato, and a shot of hot espresso poured over it. Some variations may include a splash of liqueur or a sprinkle of chocolate for added flavor.

What is the correct way to eat affogato?

Enjoy your affogato by spooning up some of the creamy ice cream along with the warm, rich espresso in each bite. The contrasting temperatures and textures create a delightful experience. You should eat it quickly before the ice cream melts too much into the coffee for the best experience.

What country is affogato from?

Affogato originated in Italy. Its name means “drowned” in Italian, which aptly describes how the scoop of ice cream is submerged in the hot espresso. It’s a popular dessert in Italian cafés and has gained worldwide popularity for its simplicity and elegance.

Why is it called affogato?

The Italian word affogato translates to “drowned” in English. It fittingly describes your delicious dessert where scoops of ice cream are “drowned” in a shot of hot espresso. This simple yet evocative term perfectly captures the essence of your indulgent treat.

If you liked our blog post on the topic “Affogato – Ice Cream With Coffee”, don’t forget to leave us a comment down and share your thoughts on this topic.

Share this blog post
Avatar photo

Wadim Urbanowitsch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *